Carl Van Brunt

Carl Van Brunt Digital Paintings



Walking the Changes

"Running the changes" is jazz slang for improvisation based on the sequence of chords of a musical composition. Jazz improvisation has been a major influence on how I make art for over 40 years now. Another big influence has been Buddhism. One form of meditation that I practice is walking meditation. So the title of this show combines these two important underpinnings to who I am and what I do. Working digitally enables me to improvise and meditate in a form that I can share with others.

The reason I make art is to discover meaning. I do not make art to illustrate or otherwise communicate meaning that I have previously apprehended. I have found over the course of many years that meaning emerges through the process of making art. Any given piece is complete when I recognize in it something compelling that I have not previously experienced.

For me art is a form of non-verbal communication and the process of its making is a form of visual thinking. I consider the techniques I may employ to make a work and weigh various formal elements that I may use, but I have an open mind about what the actual work will turn out to be. Strategies of process are developed for the express purpose of providing the best possible opportunity for meaning to flower.

This is the most important reason why I think of my digital work in terms of painting technique, though I have little interest in replicating the look of traditional painting. Many years ago, when I pushed paint around on canvas, I learned to drop any notion of what I wanted to see and focused instead on what was actually happening before my eyes. Now that I have been pushing pixels around for over 30 years, the same thing is true. I am not looking for what I think I want, I’m looking for what I’ve never seen before. It’s like going for a walk with no particular destination in mind while humming a tune. Sooner or later something interesting will pop-up. When it does, I hit "save."



Carl Van Brunt has been an artist since his teenage years. Early on, he did a lot of painting, mostly in acrylic. Around 1980, he became interested in digital art and that has been his main focus ever since. Up until the year 2000, he spent most of his adult life in New York City where he worked in the commercial art field while he continued to develop his digital art. He showed his work in various venues including one Upper West Side gallery appropriately named Outer Space.

In 2000, Carl, his wife Suzanne Ball, and their son Trevor moved to Cold Spring. Soon thereafter Carl bid farewell to advertising and started Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon. Currently he is Gallery Director of Woodstock Artists Association and Museum. He and Suzanne are also involved in promoting the work of Hudson Valley artists in art fairs, museum exhibitions and pop-up shows under the banner of Van Brunt Projects. Carl has shown his digital work extensively in one person exhibitions and group shows in galleries and museums throughout the Hudson Valley region.